Plans to reactivate the Hunters Woods Ballfield — which is behind Reston Community Center — are moving forward after Reston Association’s Board of Directors approved a conceptual plan at a meeting last night (Thursday).
RA is working with community stakeholders, including the Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition, to reactive the site, which is no longer used by Reston-Herndon Little League due to its long distance from the nearest parking lot.
The conceptual plan, developed with the help of architecture firm Kimley-Horn, would repurpose the area into common open space with a pathway, entrance to the field, additional trees and landscaping. More features would be installed during later phases, including:
- A library book share
- Sledding hill
- Imprinted concrete
- Perennial garden
- Mile marker sign
“We want to build that excitement,” said Larry Butler, RA’s Chief Operating Officer. Butler said local stakeholders are excited about the project.
The board authorized funds last year to repurpose the ballfield. Plan to install additional pathway lighting in the area — which were originally presented alongside the repurposing proposal — is expected to come before an RA committee next month.
With the board’s approval secured, the plan will be presented to Fairfax County planners and RA’s Design Review Board.
A cost estimate for the project was not immediately available, but surveying, engineering and permitting could cost around $25,00, Butler said. Grading will require a minor site plan.
RA Board President Julie Bitzer described the proposal as a “passive park.”
Reston Association’s Board of Directors will meet today (Thursday) to discuss a concept plan for the Hunters Woods Ballfield and plans to reopen pools for this year’s season.
The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.
Design consultant Kimley-Horn created several concept images to repurpose the Hunters Woods ballfield, which is located behind Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. Design sketches show the space would largely be maintained as open space, with the addition of trees and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.
The Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition is encouraging RA to repurpose the ball field, which is no longer used by the Reston-Herndon Little League. So far, a pathway lighting project north of the Hunters Woods Village Center is under consideration, with roughly 16 light poles at a cost of $100,000.
The board could approve a concept plan, which would then be considered by RA’s Design Review Board and county planners. More details are expected at the meeting.
Police have made an arrest nearly one year after a body was found near the Hunters Woods Village Center.
A teenager has been charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of a Reston man.
Detectives believe the 17-year-old suspect was involved in the 2019 murder of Jose Lorenzo Guillen Mejia.
His body was found by police officers on June 23 at around 1:45 a.m. Police responded to the scene after a reporting of gunshots along a walking trail between Hunters Woods Plaza and Breton Court.
An autopsy found that Mejia died from several gunshot wounds.
The arrest was made after police obtained a felony petition for first degree murder yesterday (Tuesday).
The suspect was already incarcerated at the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center for an unrelated offense when he was served the petition.
The Reston Association is seeking several candidates for seats on its Board of Directors for the upcoming election in March.
There are currently four open positions on the board for 2020 and include two at-large positions, an apartment owners’ seat and the Hunters Woods/Dogwood District seat.
One of the at-large positions is for a one-year term while the other is for a three-year term.
Candidates must be a Reston Association member to qualify for a position and announce their candidacy by Jan. 24. People can email RA if they have questions.
There will be a meeting on Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Reston Association Headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive) for anyone interested in candidacy.
Photo via YouTube/Reston Association
A new volunteer tradition aims to keep the Hunters Woods neighborhood clean.
The first annual Hunters Woods Clean-Up Day will take place on Sunday (Nov. 3) beginning at 11:30 a.m. at the Hunters Woods Fellowship House (2231 Colts Neck Road). Volunteers will improve the appearance of the neighborhood, according to the event’s Facebook page.
The event is sponsored by the Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition, which will provide the supplies for volunteers including gloves and trash bags.
During the event, volunteers will clean neighboring areas ranging from Hunters Woods at Trails Edge to Hunters Woods Village Condominiums.
All community members are welcome to swing by help the cause.
After the event, snacks and hot drinks will be provided for volunteers, according to the event page.
Image via Google Maps
The public unveiling is set for Wednesday (October 16) from 6-7 p.m. The free event will also includes ice cream.
The underpass is accessible from Hunters Woods Village Center and from Hunters Woods at Trails Edge. Parking is available at Hunters Woods Village Center.
The piece is titled “Thoreau’s Ensemble.” Ben Volta, the Philadelphia-based artist behind the work, was inspired by poet Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reference.”
Volta asked community members and residents to draw a path and add components that make Reston stimulating and worthwhile.
The final design was by approved by Reston Association’s Design Review Board earlier this year. The project is made possible through a partnership with Public Art Reston, Atlantic Realty Companies, and RA.
Photo via Public Art Reston
The field, which is located behind Reston Community Center, is no longer used by the Reston-Herndon Little League due to its distance from the nearest parking lot.
RA’s Board of Directors approved a motion to reallocate funds previously approved for pathway lighting at a meeting last Thursday (Sept. 26) to design, study and implement the project.
In tandem, RA plans to install 16 lights near the village center and the ball field. The roughly $100,000 project uses $81,300 in proffer commitment funds from the developer of Hunters Woods at Trails Edge, a senior living community on Colts Neck Road. The proffer is designated specifically for path lighting and cannot be used for any other purpose.
Larry Butler, RA’s Chief Operating Officer, said staff will work with the community to brainstorm possible ideas for the ball field. The Hunters Woods Neighborhood Coalition — which has long advocated for pathway lighting to improve safety in the area — requested that RA examine the issue.
“We could do a lot of things there,” Butler said, adding the plan is in its early phases.
In a July 19 letter, the county’s planning staff indicating the ball field is classified as open space, which is designed for scenic or recreational purposes.
Meanwhile, RA is working with Dominion Energy to develop preliminary design plans for the pathway lighting project. The latest plan — which Butler said addresses the “area of most concern” — is a scaled-back version of a 2014 plan to install 52 lights, which faltered due to limited funding.
The cost of the study is unclear, especially because RA will likely engage with a design architect to determine constraints on the site, including utility polls, Butler said.
The preliminary design calls for 16 LED, shoebox lights likely spread out by about 80 feet. The original plans did not call for LED lights.
Once plans are in place, the project will head to RA’s Design Review Board for a discussion and a vote.
A local artist will debut her floral quilts and fiber art at a new exhibit in Reston next week.
Anne Smyers is the creator of “Sat It With Flowers,” an art installation that embodies her “love of flowers and propensity to work with botanical images,” according to the Reston Community Center event page.
The installation opens Monday, Sept. 16, and runs until Oct. 31 at RCC Hunter Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).
“Her work is informed by interests, including gardening; a lifelong practice of tai chi chuan, which is a Chinese meditative movement series; and her artistic eye that looks for the best arrangement of a given set of elements,” RCC said.
A free reception will be held from 2-4 p.m. next Sunday, Sept. 22, at RCC Hunter Woods. Smyers will speak at the event, where there will be refreshments for attendees.
Photo via Twitter/Studio Art Quilts
At a public meeting on Monday (July 29), local police turned to the community for help as it investigates a suspicious death that happened behind Hunters Woods Plaza in late June.
Local law enforcement and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins met with the community Monday night to discuss the ongoing investigation.
Jose Lorenzo Guillen Mejia, 24, of Reston, was found dead near a walking trail on Sunday, June 24 near a wooded area between Hunters Woods Plaza and Breton Court. Mejia was found with trauma to his upper body and was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Remember, the information you have, regardless of how trivial it may be, could be the critical link in solving this case,” according to handouts distributed during the meeting.
Police encouraged anyone with information about the incident to contact the Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800. Tips can be submitted by calling 1-866-311-TIPS or by texting “TIP187 plus the messages CRIMES.”
Photo via handout/FCPD
Police are investigating a suspicious death after a man’s body was found near the Hunters Woods Shopping Plaza.
Fairfax County Police found the body after responding to a call about shots fired around 1:45 am. on Sunday.
The body was found in the woods near a walking trail. No other information was immediately available.
Photo via FCPD/Twitter
Now that spring has finally arrived, warmer weather will invite locals outside to mill around Reston’s many shopping areas.
While Reston has an abundance of stores at Plaza America, Reston Town Center and the Spectrum, one of Reston’s unique design elements lies in its mix of residential and retail at its five village centers.
The first one — the Lake Anne Village Center — looks almost the same today as it did in 1976.
The Hunters Woods Village Center, which saw most of its original buildings demolished and replaced with more modern retail in the 1990s, is on a 2017 list of potential spots for new residential development put together by the Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning.
Reston Now wants to know if there is a certain village center you frequently visit or really love going to.
Photo via Courtlyn McHale/Flickr
After a year-long hiatus, the Reston Association’s Pedestrian Lighting Working Group made a comeback at the Design Review Board’s meeting last night (March 19).
Working group members Larry Butler, Rick Landers and Bill Burton presented a progress report as a first step toward developing specific lighting guidelines for RA properties and pathways.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins’ recent call for more streetlights around Reston and some criticism of the lighting at the Sekas development along Sunrise Valley Drive renewed the focus on the lighting, Butler said.
“Lighting is going to be at the forefront for some time to come,” Butler said.
The report highlighted two main goals:
- development of “contextual application guidelines” for lighting
- prioritization of pedestrian lighting in the community — common areas including pathways and recreational amenities, transit station areas and clusters
Butler said that the working group is also adopting some guidelines from the Reston Annual State of the Environment Report (RASER).
Burton showed the Design Review Board the Reston lighting map that was created by overlaying existing pathway lights on a new land use map. Burton said that the working group members walked or biked Reston pathways and corridors to note areas of no, low, medium or high lighting.
The map has four main zones:
- zone 0: areas with no existing lighting for areas where RA wants to preserve darkness
- zone 1: traditional residential areas — most of the Planned Residential Community — that may want additional lighting
- zone 2: village centers, brightly lit schools and athletic fields that will need future lighting replacements
- zone 3: transportation corridor and Reston Town Center
In addition to marking the traditional RA pathways, the map also notes travel corridors along certain roads that bicyclists and pedestrians might frequently use.
Identifying areas that need more lighting is just one step.
“We want to do it right,” Butler said, mentioning LED lights on timers.
Landers added that the technological advances in LED lights provide more options for dimmer or brighter lighting, along with being more energy-efficient.
Vice Chair and Architect Member W. Neal Roseberry praised the three working group members for their effort, which has broad appeal to Restonians. “I think this is really pretty common sense,” he said.
While the Design Review Board supported the map and expressed a desire in making a future action item around lighting, Richard Newlon, the board’s chairman, questioned how much detail should get decided around lighting while still creating an enforceable guideline.
In addition to the progress report, Butler also gave the board a preview on other actions the working group is taking.
A pathway lighting project in Hunters Woods that the Design Review Board approved three years ago now has renewed interest because of a proffer commitment from Atlantic Realty — the developer behind the Hunters Woods at Trail Edge senior living facility — to add new pathway lighting
“We’re working with Fairfax County to get an interpretation on that proffer as to whether or not that money can be joined with our project, our current funding so that we can do lighting down there, because we don’t have enough money to do the whole project,” Butler said.
Butler said that he expects the working group to come back to the Design Review Board in April or May with information on the $81,300 promised in the proffer.
“The face of Reston is changing,” Butler said. “We want to make sure the lighting keeps up.”
Images via Reston Association/YouTube
The Colts Neck Road underpass will soon get its long-awaited makeover.
Public Art Reston recently awarded a contract to Philadelphia-based artist Ben Volta to create permanent public artwork for the underpass.
When selecting the artist, Public Art Reston sought someone who could “address the spirit of the Hunters Woods Neighborhood; respond to the cultural diversity of the community; and develop an artwork that identifies the underpass as a civic facility within the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood,” according to a Public Art Reston press release.
“The project is an opportunity for infrastructure beautification, engagement, education and inspiration,” Delaney said. “It will promote active use of the underpass that links residential areas, Hunters Woods Village Center, two schools, two senior facilities and two community centers.”
Known for his public murals and sculptures, Volta will work on the project with the Dogwood and Hunters Woods elementary schools, in addition to partnering with Hunters Woods at Trails Edge, a soon-to-open senior living facility.
Volta, who is familiar with working with students in participatory art creation, told Reston Now that he plans to engage with kids in the classrooms with the hope of brainstorming an idea, color or shape that will then get incorporated into the art.
Right now, he is working to get the design done before summer break starts for the kids.
He has started making several planned site visits, where he also meets with students, teachers and administrators at the two schools. “I like to start with the site,” Volta said about his artistic process.
While the Colts Neck underpass was “dark with lots of mud everywhere” on his first visit, Volta said he’s been thinking about how the tunnel’s purpose as a passageway between the two schools can lead to a transformative experience for people who enter and exit it.
“Really, the site has a lot to say because of the way people experience it,” Volta said.
Volta said he didn’t know much about the Hunters Woods area before he was chosen for the project, but said he was struck on his first visit by the area’s connection to nature. “I really fell in love with Reston.”
The project has an anticipated installation in the summer so that the artwork will be ready for when students return to classes in the fall, he said.
Photo of Ben Volta courtesy of Public Art Reston
What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play — “Come to the Cabaret!” at Lake Anne Plaza.
The performance will be held at the Washington Plaza Baptist Church (1615 N. Washington Plaza). The suggested $10 door donations will go toward the church’s upcoming 2019 annual Christmas concert.
Attendees can also snack on some light refreshments and food.
The show starts at 7 p.m.
Tomorrow (March 16)
- Family Art Day (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) — Join GRACE for a free celebration of Youth Art Month on St. Francis Street. Families can look at student artwork in the exhibit and participate in art-making activities.
- Herndon Library Board Games (1-3 p.m.) — Adults can play classic board games at the Herndon Fortnightly Library.
- Youth Arts Showcase Explosion (6 p.m.) — The Reston Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is set to perform for free at the Kennedy Center.
- Common Ground: Candice Bostwick & Friends (7-9 p.m.) — You can enjoy jazz and pop music at ArtSpace Herndon for $20.
- “Time Stands Still” (8 p.m.) — Saturday is the last evening to watch the Reston Community Players’ production of a play about a couple making a living out of documenting the horrors of war.
Sunday (March 17)
- History of World War II (2-4 p.m.) — Dr. Harry Butowsky from George Mason University will present the first part of his six-part lecture series on “World War II: On Our Way, USA 1939-1942” at the Reston Regional Library.
- Once Upon a Time–Princesses & Lollipops (4 p.m.) — The RCC Hunters Woods’ free annual concert will feature music from Disney movies and theater favorites played by the Reston Community Orchestra. Girls can go dressed up in gowns, crowns and tiaras. The afternoon will include singing, dancing, a parade of princesses, a raffle of two baskets and the presentation of the RCO Community Service award.
Sunday is also St. Patrick’s Day — Reston Now has a separate list of local events in Reston, Great Falls and Herndon.
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Singer Beverly Cosham is set to take CenterStage exactly one week from today for a free show.
Known for her cabaret and theater performances, Cosham will perform songs from the Great American Songbook.
The performance starts at 2:15 p.m. next Thursday (March 21) at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road).
The show is a part of a joint venture between the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at George Mason University and Reston Community Center.
Photo via Reston Community Center